Mike Nauman-Montana is a lifelong artist and tinkerer. He has always loved making things with his hands and for the past twenty years he has put his focus on wood. He now runs a busy custom cabinet and woodworking business on Vashon Island called Salmon Bay Woodworks. Much of his work today is building and designing custom built-in cabinetry. However, he has a studio art background and also does metalworking, furniture making and other creative endeavors. For the time being though he is pretty busy with Salmon Bay Woodworks, and of course Still Sitting.
We were lucky to snag him a few years back when we were looking for a local custom woodworker to make our meditation benches. He now makes all three of our custom meditation benches and is especially busy with our best seller, the Nomad. He also makes small wood rings that are used in our custom rakusu.
Our Meditation Benches
We sell 3 unique handmade meditation benches at Still Sitting. Our Traditional Meditation Bench and our Center Meditation Bench are both sturdy kneeling benches in a traditional meditation bench style. Both of these benches work well with our bench cushions that fasten to the wooden seat with velcro. Mike uses Red Oak for these and we love the unique wood grain and soft caramel color of this wood. While these two benches are pretty straightforward from a woodworking perspective, our Nomad is a different story. Interested in how our Nomad Bench came to be?
Our Nomad Bench
The design of the Nomad requires a CNC router, a computer programmable cutter. This is how we can achieve the unique swirl cut out design of the Nomad legs. Mike sends the wood pieces to a woodworker in Seattle with the proper equipment to cut the two interlocking pieces that make up the sides and legs of the Nomad bench. The pieces are then sanded and sprayed with a light non-toxic finish.
Mike delivers these pieces to us and we finish the assembly at our workshop, attaching the fabric hammock seat and connecting the pieces with a strong gasket. Then they are ready to pack up for shipment.
We have always been committed to keeping everything from Still Sitting as local as possible. We’ve been fortunate to find great local craftspeople to make our benches and also to sew all of our cushions. This has become a big help recently as we have had to adjust to working in new ways with our changing world during the Covid-19 crisis this month.
For Mike to deliver our benches, he just pops them in his truck and can be at our workshop in 10 minutes – no shipping, transportation, packaging or social interaction required. Recently I wondered whether our busy meditation bench maker finds time to meditate himself. He told me he feels like it could benefit him to slow down a bit, but he does not. He definitely knows where to get a bench, should he decide to give it a try. Either way, we are grateful for the role he plays in creating our benches, which help many of us in our meditation practices.